Childhood Depression

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By Shelley Nortje

Depression, a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being, is a word that is laden with negative connotations; fears, stigma and avoidance. Adult depression is a more common and better understood mental health difficulty. It is, however, often not expected or imagined that a baby or a primary-school aged child could also experience depression. But they do. Children are little humans in their own right with their own complex feelings and unique experiences. All children experience ups and downs and feel sad or down at times. When your child’s experience seems more exaggerated than expected and is impacting on their everyday ability to be at school and with friends, then it is important to open up a conversation with them about these big feelings that they are struggling to manage on their own.

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